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New holographic goggles from Microsoft have video game potential

During a briefing today covering new features in Windows 10, Microsoft revealed HoloLens, an in-development holographic and gesture-based control solution.

During a briefing today covering new features in Windows 10, Microsoft revealed HoloLens, an in-development holographic and gesture-based control solution.

The goggles blend digital, holographic elements with the real world, in a kind of hyper-augmented reality.

A video (above) shows a "world with holograms," which involves anything from holographic calendars appearing on your fridge, a virtual screen showing Netflix, or a Minecraft landscape that spreads across your family room. Gesture-based productivity software is also a possibility with HoloLens.

A commercial version is still far off, but is expected to be available within the Windows 10 timeframe. The wireless goggles feature high-definition visuals, spatial sound, advanced sensors, and a CPU and GPU to work along with a holographic processing unit, according to Microsoft. In other words, you don’t need to connect to an external PC -- HoloLens is meant to be a self-sufficient computing device.

The immersive gameplay aspect is already something that Microsoft is teasing. Game development is pushing into more immersive digital worlds thanks to advancements in VR and augmented reality -- so there are already a lot of people thinking of games that could work in such virtual spaces. Microsoft also introduced HoloStudio, which allows users to create 3D printed objects, and new Windows 10 APIs, to allow developers to create holographic apps.

Alex Kipman is the inventor behind the HoloLens, and is credited with inventing the Kinect.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer also took the stage, noting new inter-functionality between Windows 10 and Xbox One. A Windows 10 Xbox app brings community features across both platforms, and a new API allows the possibility for Windows 10 / Xbox One cross-platform multiplayer. Also coming with Windows 10 is in-home streaming of Xbox One games to Windows 10 devices, game video editing in Windows 10, and better-performing DirectX 12 games.

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